Devil′s advocacy and dialectical inquiry effects on face-to-face and computer-mediated group decision making

Joseph S. Valacich, Charles Schwenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


For more than 20 years, researchers have investigated the effects of cognitive conflict techniques on the decision making performance of groups and individuals. Past research on two techniques, devil′s advocacy and dialectical inquiry, has shown that both techniques improve group performance over nonconflictual, expert-based approaches. More recently, researchers have begun to investigate how advanced decision and communication technologies can be used to enhance group processing and outcomes. In this paper, we extend both streams of research by reporting the results of a laboratory experiment on the effects devil′s advocacy and dialectical inquiry within face-to-face and computer-mediated groups. The results suggest that groups given the devil′s advocacy treatment developed and considered more alternative solutions to a case problem and selected a higher quality recommendation than those in the dialectical inquiry and expert-based treatments. Computer-mediated groups developed and considered more solution alternatives but required more voting rounds to reach agreement than did face-to-face groups. Computer-mediated groups were more satisfied with the process than face-to-face groups; no differences were found in satisfaction with decision outcome. The implications of the results for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-173
Number of pages16
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Devil′s advocacy and dialectical inquiry effects on face-to-face and computer-mediated group decision making'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this